Hereford & Worcester

Worcestershire Elgar archives move despite campaign

Sir Edward Elgar Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Research material relating to Sir Edward Elgar have now been transferred to the British Library

Archive documents which once belonged to Sir Edward Elgar have been taken to their new home, despite a petition opposing the move.

The Elgar Foundation has moved the collection from Worcesterhsire to the British Library in London.

Trustees said the move will better help "promote" Elgar and his work worldwide.

Almost 3,000 people signed a petition to keep the documents in his home county and say they will continue to campaign for their return.

Most of the archive, including research material; furniture; scores; photographs; scrapbooks; newspaper cuttings; and objects Elgar owned, was held at Elgar's birthplace, The Firs, in Broadheath.

The foundation, responsible for historic documents from the English composer, said it wanted to protect its long-term future and believes its aim to promote Elgar across the world was "best met" by the library.

Image copyright Google Maps
Image caption The archive will now be kept at the British Library

Archivists and councillors had called for the archive to remain with the county's archaeology and archive service in The Hive.

Councillor Lucy Hodgson, from Worcestershire County Council, who began the petition to ensure the documents remained in Worcestershire, said: "I understand the trustees have now moved the archive but that won't stop us campaigning.

"He was born here, he died here, he lived in many houses and his music was inspired by the Malvern Hills."

Paul West, the former chief constable of West Mercia Police who plays in an orchestra, has also launched a crowdfunding appeal to raise money to help towards the county's appeal.

Composer Elgar was born in 1857 and died in 1934. Among his best known work was the Enigma Variations and the Pomp and Circumstance Marches.

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